Think. Eat. Save. Our series of conferences on global agriculture, food and land use links to 2013 World Environment Day theme

5 June, 2013

Our conference series on global agriculture, food and land use ties in with the focus of this year’s World Environment Day on reducing food waste and loss by encouraging people the world over to reduce their ‘foodprint’.

Global agriculture, food and land use series

We are organising a series of six conferences to run from 2011-13 on ‘Global agriculture, food and land use: the international policy challenges’ and are running these conferences over three years in association with the University of Exeter. The first five conferences focused on: volatility and markets, land use; sustainable diet and nutrition; the role of science and technology in agriculture; and creating resilient agricultural systems in a world of increasing resource scarcity and climate change. The final conference in the series, being planned for 7-9 October 2013, will focus on empowering people and shaping policies for resilient agriculture and food systems.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) promote World Environment Day on 5 June each year. The theme for this year’s celebrations is ‘Think.Eat.Save’. ‘Think.Eat.Save’ is an anti-food waste and food loss campaign that encourages us to reduce our ‘foodprint’. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), every year 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted. This is equivalent to the same amount produced in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, one in every seven people in the world go to bed hungry and more than 20,000 children under the age of five die daily from hunger.

Given this enormous imbalance in lifestyles and the resultant devastating effects on the environment, this year’s World Environment Day theme – Think.Eat.Save – encourages us to become more aware of the environmental impact of the food choices we make and empowers us to make informed decisions.

While the planet is struggling to provide us with enough resources to sustain its 7  billion people (growing to 9 billion by 2050), FAO estimates that a third of global food production is either wasted or lost. Food waste is an enormous drain on natural resources and a contributor to negative environmental impacts.

If food is wasted, it means that all the resources and inputs used in the production of all the food are also lost. For example, it takes about 1,000 litres of water to produce one litre of milk and about 16,000 litres of water goes into a cow’s food to make a hamburger. The resulting greenhouse gas emissions from the cows themselves, and throughout the food supply chain, all end up in vain when we waste food.

Our series of conferences on global agriculture, food and land use brings together leading representatives and experts from international organisations, governments, businesses, academia and NGOs, from many countries around the world, to debate these issues.

 

Further information

Reports and further information from the first five conferences in the series can be found below:

Global food and agriculture: policy options in response to increased volatility

Global land use: policies for the future

Improving diet and nutrition: challenges for global food, agricultural and land use policies

Global food security: the role of science and technology

How to create resilient agricultural systems in a world of increasing resource scarcity and climate change

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